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Lansdowne portrait

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

George Washington
(Lansdowne portrait of George Washington)
Gilbert Stuart, George Washington (Lansdowne portrait, 1796).jpg
ArtistGilbert Stuart
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions247.6 cm × 158.7 cm (97.5 in × 62.5 in)
LocationNational Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.

The Lansdowne portrait is an iconic life-size portrait of George Washington painted by Gilbert Stuart in 1796. It depicts a 64-year-old Washington in his last year as President of the United States. Stuart painted the Lansdowne portrait, three copies of it, and five portraits that were closely related to it.[1]:175 The most famous copy is the one in the East Room of the White House.

To preclude the original portrait's possible sale at auction, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. purchased it in 2001, for $20,000,000.[2]

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  • ✪ Conservation of the “Lansdowne” Portrait of George Washington
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Gilbert Stuart's Lansdowne portrait of George Washington is an iconic image of the first American president. It is an important piece of our history. Just as important, really, as a document like the Declaration of Independence. Because of the way it was painted, it has an immediacy that many paintings that are that old don't have. This is a joyful picture. It was a way to sort-of send out the messaging of what the aspirations were, not just for the presidency, but also for the country going forward. Today we take down the Lansdowne portrait of George Washington. It'll be off-view for 18 months. It's heading into conservation and then it will be reinstalled when America's Presidents is re-hung for the 50th anniversary of the National Portrait Gallery. We are taking the Landsdowne painting off-view so that it can shine and look just as it did over 200 years ago when it was first created. It was painted as a private commission in 1796, so it wasn't painted for the federal government or for any one public setting. The patron was a senator from Pennsylvania. He was one of the wealthiest men in America, William Bingham. And he wanted to give it as a gift to Lord Lansdowne in England. The two of them together worked toward supporting a treaty called the Jay Treaty, so that American goods could be shipped to England and the English could sell their manufactured goods in America. So this is a very lively political moment that this is all happening. People were so interested to know what Washington looked like. They had been interested since the time of the Revolution. And so prints made after paintings, or paintings displayed in public places, allowed people to see what the president looked like, even if they couldn't see him in person. Stuart was a really well-trained, talented artist who had learned to paint in England from some of the best late 18th century English painters. And when he came back to America, he had that behind him, that talent and that experience. So Stuart was in England from 1774-1793. Did not see Washington as a general. But when he came back and was commissioned, he saw Washington as president. And between his talent and this new view of Washington, I think that's probably the reason for its success. Washington was acutely aware of his responsibility to create in himself an image of a president who was not a monarch. Someone who was elected and someone who was the leader of this new republic, the United States. He is interestingly standing in almost the exact same composition of George III. There's a painting by Ramsay where he, in contrast, has got all of his ermine and all of his sort-of royal robes and his crown and his scepter. It's unique as a life-size portrait because other full-lengths of Washington painted in his lifetime show him in uniform as a general. The Lansdowne portrait, when you look at it, has all of these little clues in what the aspirations were for Americans going forward. For the early founders of the country, this was very symbolic, this idea that they were leaving behind the old trappings of Europe. In the portrait, on the table is a copy of the Federalist Papers, which were the papers written by Alexander Hamilton and others to try to determine how to set up this government, what were these functions going to be? And there's also a book on the table called Journal of Congress, which are the day-to-day functions of Congress. So there are references to the current political situation in the portrait. There are also references to Washington's past in the books under the table, which include American Revolution and Constitution and Laws of the United States. So you have a sort-of past role of Washington as general, and as president of the convention that set up the Constitution in the 1780s. And now you have Washington now as president in the portrait. Washington created the idea of the president. He was the first. No-one really knew what a president should look like, how he should act. What do people call him? Do they call him General, or Excellency, or sir? Or whatever? You know, the whole title of First Lady and everything came along much later. And I think that's really interesting to try to look back and think how they're working through all of these cultural and political decisions right at the time that this portrait is being painted. So in this painting, we see how the idea, the very concept of an American president is pictured. I'm the Paintings Conservator for the National Portrait Gallery, and I worked on the Lansdowne for 18 months in collaboration with E. Keats Webb who's a digital imaging specialist at the Smithsonian's Museum Conservation Institute. The Landsdowne presented some conservation issues that needed to be addressed. Over the years, the original brilliance of the painting had diminished with the yellowing of the resinous varnish, as well as an uneven cleaning of Washington's black coat. The Smithsonian is really blessed to have incredibly talented scientists on staff. They really wanted to understand how the picture had been put together from a scientific point of view. I think one of the things that's really important to remember is that the sciences and the humanities have always been linked. And certainly in museum work, they are very much interconnected. So in February of 2016, the painting was brought down for analysis and conservation treatment. And for the first phase of the project, the portrait was moved to the Museum Conservation Institute to complete digital imaging using ultra-violet induced physical fluorescence, infra-red reflectography, and digital x-radiography. The painting was brought back to the museum and cleaning took 12 months to complete to remove the yellow varnish, compensate losses on the surface, and bring the painting back to its original brilliance. When you walk into America's Presidents and you see the colors are brighter, the rainbow is shiny, you can see the details in the coat, the white in the cravat and the shirt are really beautifully white, that this is a nice way to sort-of take a new look at this founding father and first president. I think it's a great painting. I mean it's important that it's Washington, but it's also important that it's by a very good artist. By conserving this painting, we are preserving it for generations to come.



The Lansdowne portrait likely (and fancifully) depicts President Washington's December 7, 1795 annual address to the Fourth U.S. Congress.[1]:172 The highly-unpopular Jay Treaty, settling claims between the United States and Great Britain left over from the Revolutionary War, had been presented for approval to the U.S. Senate earlier in the year. The Senate held a special session to debate the treaty in June, at which opposition to it had been fierce. Exactly two-thirds of the 30 senators (the minimum required under the U.S. Constitution) approved the treaty in mid-August, and Washington, who strongly supported the treaty, signed it in late August.[1]:172 The President's annual address was on the first day of the next session of Congress. Washington acknowledged the struggle over the treaty and called for unity.[3] The portrait's paper, pen and inkwell may allude to his signing of the treaty.[1]:172 There was lingering resentment in the House of Representatives, which expressed its displeasure by declining to appropriate funding for the treaty's implementation until April 1796.[4]

In England, the Lansdowne portrait was celebrated as Washington's endorsement of the Jay Treaty:

The portrait presented by the President [sic] to the Marquis of Lansdowne is one of the finest pictures we have seen since the death of Reynolds. The dress he wears is plain black velvet; he has his sword on, upon the hilt of which one hand rests while the other is extended, as the figure is standing and addressing the Hall of Assembly. The point of time is that when he recommended inviolable union between America and Great Britain.[5]

The December 7, 1795 address was the last that President Washington delivered to Congress in person. The following year he published his Farewell Address in the newspapers, rather than delivering it to Congress.[1]:172


Lord Lansdowne – who as British Prime Minister had secured a peaceful end to the Revolutionary War[6] – commissioned Stuart to paint a portrait of George Washington. Stuart lived in England and Ireland for eighteen years, and Lansdowne may have placed the order for a portrait prior to the artist's return to the United States in early 1793.[7]:80–81 Stuart lived and worked in New York City for a year and a half before moving to Philadelphia in November 1794.[8] He informed his uncle in Philadelphia of his upcoming arrival: "The object of my journey is only to secure a picture of the President, & finish yours."[9]

Philadelphia served as the temporary national capital from 1790 to 1800 – while Washington, D.C. was under construction. Stuart was introduced to the President in December 1794, at one of Mrs. Washington's Friday evening "drawingrooms."[1]:133 But it was not until the following fall that Washington granted him a sitting. Meanwhile, Stuart gathered orders for portraits—among his papers is a document titled: "A list of gentlemen who are to have copies of the portrait of the President of the United States." and dated: "Philadelphia. April 20th, 1795."[10]:87–88 Lord Lansdowne's name was third on the list of thirty-two subscribers.[10]:87[a]

According to Rembrandt Peale, President Washington granted a joint sitting to Stuart and him "in the Autumn of 1795."[10]:88 Stuart was not wholly satisfied with the resulting head-and-bust "Vaughan-style" portrait, but still painted between twelve and sixteen copies of it.[1]:135 He later claimed to have destroyed his original.[10]:88 While visiting London a decade earlier, Senator William Bingham of Pennsylvania and his wife, Anne Willing Bingham, had sat for a family portrait by Stuart (abandoned).[1]:198 The artist may have approached Mrs. Bingham for assistance in getting the President to grant him another sitting:[10]:91

Mr. Stuart, Chestnut Street.
— I am under promise to Mrs. Bingham to set for you to-morrow at nine o'clock, and wishing to know if it be convenient to you that should do so, whether it shall be at your own house (as she talked of the State House) I send this note to you to ask information.
I am Sir, Your
obedient Servt
Monday Evening, 11th Apr 1796.[10]:88–89

According to Rembrandt Peale, this was the only sitting that Washington granted for the Lansdowne portrait.[1]:168 It took place in Stuart's studio (and lodgings) in William Moore Smith's house, at 5th & Chestnut Streets.[1]:168 With severely limited time, Stuart was forced to concentrate on the President's head and face.[1]:168 There are multiple claims as to who posed for the body of the figure, including his landlord, Smith.[b]

The portrait was begun by Stuart in his Philadelphia studio and completed in his Germantown studio, the second floor of a stable some 8 miles north of the city.[1]:130–31 The artist moved to Germantown in Summer 1796 to avoid distractions.[1]:165–66 The Binghams had enjoyed Lord Lansdowne's hospitality in London, and persuaded Stuart to allow them to pay for the portrait.[1]:166, 168 Stuart completed the Lansdowne portrait by the fall of 1796, and Senator Bingham paid his fee of $1,000.[1]:170 Bingham had an ornate frame made for it, and arranged for it to shipped to England in late November. Lord Lansdowne had received the portrait by March 5, 1797, when he mentioned it in a letter.[10]:92 Lansdowne's letter of thanks to Mrs. Bingham survives, but is undated:

A very fine portrait of the greatest man living in a magnificent frame found its way into my hall, with no one thing left for me to do regarding it, except to thank the amiable donor of it. It is universally approv'd and admir'd, and I see with satisfaction, that there is no one who does not turn away from every thing else, to pay their homage to General Washington. Among many circumstances which contribute to enhance the value of it, I shall always consider the quarter from whence it comes as most flattering, & I look forward with the greatest pleasure to the time of shewing you and Mr. Bingham where I have plac'd it.[1]:170

Stuart's first copy of the portrait was for the Binghams (now at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts), and would have been completed before the original left his studio.[1] The President and First Lady visited Germantown on January 7, 1797: "Road [rode] to German Town with Mrs. Washington to see Mr. Stuarts paintings."[12] The Bingham copy was still in the studio on July 27, 1797, when Robert Gilmor Jr. viewed it.[13] The William Kerin Constable copy (now at the Brooklyn Museum) was completed that same month.[1]:178 The Gardiner Baker copy (now at the White House) is presumed to have been the copy commissioned by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney in September 1796, likely as a diplomatic gift to France;[c] and resold by Stuart to Baker by December 1797.[14]


After the death of Lord Lansdowne, his pictures were sold by auction. The Washington was purchased by Samuel Williams, an English [sic] merchant, for $2,000. Williams subsequently became insolvent, and his creditors disposed of the Washington by a lottery. Forty tickets were sold, at fifty guineas each. The picture fell to Mr. J. Delaware Lewis, a nephew of Mr. William D. Lewis, of Philadelphia. But few Americans had ever seen the picture, and Mr. William D. Lewis, who was Chairman of the Committee on Art, obtained the loan of it from his nephew for the Centennial Exhibition. It was sent out with the loan collection from England, unpacked at Memorial Hall, and hung up in the British section before its arrival was known to the Fine Arts Committee. An effort was subsequently made to have it transferred to the American section, but it was unsuccessful. At the close of the Exhibition, it was returned to its owner in England.[10]:13


  • 1796 – Painted by Gilbert Stuart.
  • 1797 – Presented by Senator William Bingham and his wife Anne Willing Bingham as a gift to William Petty, the first Marquis of Lansdowne (died 1805).
  • 1806 – Purchased in March, at the sale of the Marquis's estate by Samuel Williams, an American merchant living in England.
  • 1827 – Purchased by John Delaware Lewis; after his death in 1841, owned by his son, John Delaware Lewis and on his death in 1884 it was bequeathed to Herman LeRoy Lewis.[15]
  • 1876 – Exhibited at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.
  • 1889 – Purchased in May, by Archibald Philip Primrose, fifth Earl of Rosebery; by family descent to Lord Harry Dalmeny.
  • 1968 – Placed on long-term loan to the National Portrait Gallery.[16]
  • 2001 – Purchased by the National Portrait Gallery, with $20 million from The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.[2] The Foundation donated an additional $10 million to renovate the National Portrait Gallery and to fund a traveling exhibition of the portrait.[17]

Description and Analysis

The table leg may have been inspired by a wooden ceremonial mace used by the U.S. House of Representatives (the U.S. House symbol was itself inspired by the Roman fasces). The House mace was a bundle of tied reeds topped with a bald eagle, an American symbol.
The table leg may have been inspired by a wooden ceremonial mace used by the U.S. House of Representatives (the U.S. House symbol was itself inspired by the Roman fasces). The House mace was a bundle of tied reeds topped with a bald eagle, an American symbol.
Detail of the book bindings in the White House's copy of the Lansdowne portrait. "UNITED STATES" is spelled as "UNITED SATES" to distinguish the copy.
Detail of the book bindings in the White House's copy of the Lansdowne portrait. "UNITED STATES" is spelled as "UNITED SATES" to distinguish the copy.

The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic. Stuart painted Washington from life, showing him standing up, dressed in a black velvet suit with an outstretched hand held up in an oratorical manner. Behind Washington is a row of two Doric columns, with another row to the left. Wrapped around and between the columns are red tasseled drapes.

Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword (symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship). In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.

On and under the tablecloth-draped table to the left are two books: Federalist—probably a reference to the Federalist Papers—and Journal of Congress—the Congressional Record. Another five books are under the table: the three to the right are General Orders, American Revolution, and Constitutional Bylaws—symbolizing Washington's leadership as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and president of the Constitutional Convention.

The pen and paper on the table signify the rule of law. The table's leg is shaped like a fasces, an ancient Roman symbol of power and authority (imperium). On the far left of the table is a silver inkwell, emblazed with George Washington's coat of arms (see Syng inkstand). A white quill rests upon silver dogs, ancient symbols of loyalty. Behind these on the table is a large black hat.

Washington's unusually clenched facial expression comes from his famous false teeth. Jean-Antoine Houdon's marble sculpture of Washington shows a more natural expression. Stuart wrote: "When I painted him [Washington], he had just had a set of false teeth inserted, which accounts for the constrained expression so noticeable about the mouth and lower part of the face ... Houdon's bust does not suffer from this defect."

Alternate versions

Constable-Hamilton portrait

Stuart painted a 1797 seated portrait of Washington, based on the Lansdowne. William Kerin Constable, who commissioned the Lansdowne copy now at the Brooklyn Museum, also commissioned the seated version.[10]:98 Constable presented it to Alexander Hamilton in 1797.[10]:98 The portrait remained in the Hamilton family until 1896, when it was bequeathed to the Lenox Library.[18] The Lenox Library later merged with the New York Public Library. The portrait was auctioned at Sotheby's NY, 30 November 2005, lot 3, and sold for $8,136,000.[19] The Constable-Hamilton Portrait is now in the collection of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, in Bentonville, Arkansas.[18]

Munro-Lenox portrait

Stuart made several changes for the Munro-Lenox portrait (c.1800):[20] Washington's head is slightly turned, and his hand is on the table, rather than gesturing into the air. The President looks directly at the viewer, rather than off to the side, which makes it a more compelling image than the Lansdowne.[21] The head appears to be based on Stuart's Athenaeum portrait (the image on the one-dollar bill).[21] The wall behind the President is lowered, allowing for a more dramatic scene of the sun breaking through the storm clouds. After 135 years of ownership by the New York Public Library, the Munro-Lenox portrait was deassessioned and offered for auction in 2005.[22] It failed to sell at auction, and was sold in a private sale for an undisclosed amount.[23]

Stuart painted three full-size copies of the Munro-Lenox Portrait, one for the Connecticut State House in Hartford; and two for Rhode Island—one for the State House in Providence, and the other for Old Colony House in Newport.[21]

Painted by Gilbert Stuart

Type Collection Image Artist Completed Medium Dimensions Notes
Lansdowne type
Original Lansdowne portrait[16]
National Portrait Gallery,
Washington, D.C.
Gilbert Stuart, George Washington (Lansdowne portrait, 1796).jpg
Gilbert Stuart Fall 1796 oil on canvas 247.6 cm x 158.7 cm
(97 1/2 x 62 1/2 in)
Begun April 12, 1796
Unsigned & undated
Copy Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts,[24]
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts - Washington Foyer.jpg
Gilbert Stuart by November 1796 oil on canvas 243.8 cm x 152.4 cm
(96 in x 60 in)
Commissioned by Senator William Bingham.
First copy painted by Stuart.
Signed & dated: "G. Stuart, 1796"[25]
Present in Stuart's Germantown studio, July 1797[13]
1811 bequest to PAFA[26]
Copy Brooklyn Museum,[27]
Brooklyn, New York City
Gilbert Stuart - George Washington - Google Art Project (6966745)FXD.jpg
Gilbert Stuart July 1797 oil on canvas 244.5 cm x 153 cm
(96 1/4 in x 60 1/4 in)
Commissioned by William Kerin Constable.[28]
Unsigned & undated
Constable paid Stuart $500 for "one [portrait] of the late President of the United States at full length." Constable's receipt from Stuart is signed and dated "Philadelphia. 13 July 1797."[1]:178
1945 museum purchase[29]
Copy White House, East Room,
Washington, D.C.
Gilbert Stuart - George Washington - Google Art Project.jpg
Gilbert Stuart[d] by December 1797 oil on canvas 241.3 cm x 151.9 cm
(95 in x 59 3/4 in)
Probably commissioned by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, September 1796, as a diplomatic gift to France.[4]
Unsigned & undated
Sold by Stuart to Gardiner Baker for $500, by December 1797.[1]:181
Exhibited at the Tammany Society Museum in New York City, February 1798.[1]:181
Purchased for the White House for $800, July 1800.[7]:88
Rescued by First Lady Dolley Madison prior to the burning of the White House by the British, August 24, 1814.[32]
Constable-Hamilton type
Original Constable-Hamilton Portrait[18]
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art,
Bentonville, Arkansas
Gilbert Stuart July 1797 oil on canvas 127 cm x 101.6 cm
(50 in x 40 in)
Commissioned by William Kerin Constable, to present to Alexander Hamilton.[18]
Constable paid Stuart $250 for the "half-length" portrait. Constable's receipt from Stuart is signed and dated "Philadelphia. 13 July 1797."[1]:178
1896 bequest to the Lenox Library (later merged with the New York Public Library)[18]
Munro-Lenox type
Original Munro-Lenox Portrait[20]
Ex collection: New York Public Library
Private collection
Munro-Lenox Portrait from NYPL.jpg
Gilbert Stuart c.1800 oil on canvas 241.3 cm x 162.6 cm
(95 in x 64 in)
Commissioned by Peter Jay Munro
Donated to the Lenox Library, 1870.
Auctioned at Sotheby's NY, 30 November 2005, Lot 5.[22]
Copy Old State House,
Connecticut State Library Museum,[33]
Hartford, Connecticut
Gilbert Stuart April 1801 oil on canvas 240.4 cm x 146.1 cm
(94 5/8 in x 57 1/2 in)
Commissioned by the Connecticut General Assembly, May 1800.[7]:90[34][35]
Connecticut paid $600 for the portrait. The receipt, signed by Stuart and dated 4 April 1801, is in the Connecticut State Archives.[1]:189–90
Copy Rhode Island State House,[36][37]
State Reception Room,
Providence, Rhode Island.
State Reception Room, Rhode Island State House.jpg
Gilbert Stuart by October 1801 oil on canvas
(96 in x 60 in)
Rhode Island had statehouses in both Providence and Newport (until 1901). The Rhode Island General Assembly commissioned 2 copies of the Munro-Lenox portrait in 1800, one for each.[7]:89
The elaborate wooden frame was carved and gilded by Martin Jugiez, a Philadelphia carver.[21]
Both portraits (and their ornate frames) were transported by ship from Philadelphia, and arrived at Newport in October 1801.[e]
Copy Old Colony House,[39][40]
(formerly the Rhode Island State House, Newport)
Newport, Rhode Island
Gilbert Stuart by October 1801 oil on canvas Old Colony House served as a Rhode Island State House until 1901.[41]
The elaborate wooden frame was carved and gilded by Martin Jugiez, a Philadelphia carver.[21]
Arrived by ship at Newport, October 1801.[1]:188

Copies painted by other artists

The Lansdowne and Munro-Lenox portraits were copied many times, and reproduced in widely circulated prints.[27] William Winstanley (1775–1806), a British painter who had sold landscapes to President Washington,[42] reportedly painted six full-size copies of the Lansdowne.[31] During the 19th century, Jane Stuart (the artist's daughter) painted multiple copies of the Lansdowne in full and reduced sizes. Alonzo Chappel included elements of the Lansdowne in his c.1860 seated portrait of Washington (Metropolitan Museum of Art).[43]

Lansdowne type

Munro-Lenox type


  1. ^ In a September 25, 2014 lecture, Ellen G. Miles, Curator Emerita of the National Portrait Gallery, noted that others on Stuart's list of subscribers received copies of Washington head-and-bust portraits, but Lord Lansdowne received an original full-length portrait. She theorized that Lansdowne had ordered a standard portrait, but it was upgraded at Senator Bingham's suggestion (and expense) to an original and full-length portrait, a much more impressive gift.[4]
  2. ^ In "Wash" Custis's description of Washington's annual address to Congress (either 1794 or 1795, based on Thomas Jefferson's presence), he wrote: "Washington was dressed precisely as Stuart has painted him in Lord Lansdowne's full-length portrait—" and then proceeded to give a detailed description. On the portrait: "The defect in the full-length is in the limbs. For the figure, a man named Smith, with whom Stuart boarded, stood—a smaller man than Washington; and the hands were painted from a wax cast of Stuart's own hand, which was much smaller than Washington's." On the mouth: "Washington, at the time Stuart painted his portrait, had a set of sea-horse ivory teeth. These, just made, were too large and clumsy, and gave that peculiar appearance of the mouth seen in Stuart's picture."[11]
  3. ^ Ellen G. Miles has a theory as to why Charles Cotesworth Pinckney commissioned and paid for, but never retrieved his copy of the Lansdowne portrait from Gilbert Stuart's studio.
    James Monroe was Minister to France in 1795, when the Jay Treaty was signed. France was then at war with Great Britain, and despite his best efforts, Monroe could not convince the French government that this was a benign treaty that would not affect Franco-American relations. President Washington recalled Monroe, and nominated Pinckney as his successor. Pinckney was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in September 1796, and arrived in Paris in November.
    The French Directory refused to accept Pinckney's credentials, and negotiations between the countries broke down when French officials demanded a substantial bribe, in what became known as the XYZ Affair.
    Miles's theory is that Pinckney's copy of the Lansdowne portrait was intended as a diplomatic gift from the U.S. to France. Pinckney's deliberate humiliation and the suspension of diplomatic relations between the countries (for nearly 5 years) caused those plans (and the portrait) to be abandoned. Supporting evidence for this theory is that Pinckney later sought reimbursement from Secretary of State Timothy Pickering for the $500 that he paid to Stuart for the portrait.[4]
  4. ^ The comparably poor quality of the Lansdowne copy at the White House has led to questions and conspiracy theories about its authorship.[14]
    After Stuart toured the White House with Dr. William Thornton in 1802, Thornton's wife wrote to Dolley Madison: "He [Stuart] denies most pointedly having painted the picture in the President's house, and says he told Genl: Lee that he did not paint it—but that he bargained for it."[30]
    Artist William Dunlap wrote (in 1834) that William Winstanley was hired to pack the Washington portrait bought for the White House in July 1800, and substituted his own copy for Stuart's prior to its being shipped from New York City to Washington, D.C.[31] Dunlap also reported that Winstanley approached Stuart about putting finishing touches on his pirated Lansdowne copies, proposing that they could share the proceeds, but Stuart angrily rejected the idea.[31]
    Regarding Stuart's denial of the White House Lansdowne, Ellen G. Miles writes: "The comment does suggest that Stuart did not paint the entire portrait." Gilbert Stuart (2004), p. 181, n. 23.
  5. ^ "The commission was at once given to Gilbert Stuart, who took pride and pleasure in painting the portraits; for which work he received $1,200. The pictures were painted in Philadelphia, where the frames were also procured at a cost of $200 each. When finished, the portraits and frames were placed in the care of Joseph Anthony & Co., of Philadelphia, by whom they were shipped to Rhode Island on board of Gibbs & Channing's sloop Eagle. The pictures were received here in October 1801."[38]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Ellen Gross Miles, "George Washington (The Lansdowne Portrait)," in Gilbert Stuart (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2004), pp. 166-90.
  2. ^ a b Michael Kilian, "Timely Donation Saves Portrait of Washington from the Auction Block," The Chicago Tribune, March 14, 2001.
  3. ^ George Washington - Seventh Annual Address to Congress, from The American Presidency Project.
  4. ^ a b c d Ellen G. Miles, ""Gilbert Stuart's 'Lansdowne' Portrait of George Washington: From Private Diplomatic Gift to State Portrait," lecture given at the National Portrait Gallery, September 25, 2014.[1]
  5. ^ The Oracle and Public Advertiser (London), May 15, 1797.
  6. ^ William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne (Whig, 1782-1783), from The National Archives (
  7. ^ a b c d Elizabeth Bryant Johnston, Original Portraits of Washington (Boston: James R. Osgood & Company, 1882).
  8. ^ Bryan Zygmont, "Gilbert Stuart's Lansdowne Portrait," from Khan Academy.
  9. ^ Stuart to Joseph Anthony, 2 November 1794, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston. Quoted in Miles, pp. 129-30.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j George Champlin Mason, The Life and Works of Gilbert Stuart (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1894).
  11. ^ G. W. Parke Custis, Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washington (New York: Derby & Jackson, 1860), pp. 491, 520-23.
  12. ^ Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds., The Diaries of George Washington, Volume 6 (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1976–79), p. 229.
  13. ^ a b Robert Gilmor Jr., Memorandums Made in a Tour to the Eastern States in the Year 1797 (Boston: Trustees of the Boston Public Library, 1892), p. 6.
  14. ^ a b Bonnie Barrett Stretch, "The White House Washington, If Stuart Didn't Paint It, Who Did?" ArtNews, October 1, 2004.[2]
  15. ^ "George Washington (Lansdowne Portrait); see section Provenance". National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  16. ^ a b George Washington (Lansdowne Portrait), from National Portrait Gallery.
  17. ^ Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, Special Projects
  18. ^ a b c d e George Washington - The Constable-Hamilton Portrait, from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
  19. ^ George Washington (Constable-Hamilton Portrait), from Sotheby's NY.
  20. ^ a b George Washington - The Munro-Lenox Portrait, from SIRIS.
  21. ^ a b c d e Ellen Gross Miles, "George Washington (The Munro-Lenox Portrait)," in Gilbert Stuart (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2004), pp. 186-90.
  22. ^ a b George Washington - The Munro-Lenox Portrait, from Sotheby's New York.
  23. ^ Carol Vogel, "A Pair of New Owners for an Old President," The New York Times, January 5, 2007.
  24. ^ Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives, Artist Gilbert Stuart’s portraits of George Washington. Archived 2012-09-15 at the Wayback Machine Accessed: May 11, 2012.
  25. ^ Helen W. Henderson, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Other Collections in Philadelphia (Boston: L. C. Page & Company, 1899), frontispiece, p. 81.[3]
  26. ^ George Washington (Bingham portrait), from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
  27. ^ a b "American Art: Luce Center for American Art, 5th Floor". Brooklyn Museum. Archived from the original on 29 June 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  28. ^ George Washington (Constable portrait), from SIRIS.
  29. ^ George Washington, Gilbert Stuart, from Brooklyn Museum.
  30. ^ Anna Maria Thornton to Dolley Madison, August 24, 1802, in David B. Mattern and Holly C. Shulman, eds. The Selected Letters of Dolley Payne Madison (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2003, pp. 50-51.
  31. ^ a b c William Dunlap, History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States vol. 1 (New York: George C. Scott and Co., 1834), pp. 200-02.
  32. ^ "The East Room". The White House Historical Association. The White House Historical Association. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  33. ^ George Washington (Hartford portrait), from SIRIS.
  34. ^ Gosselin, Kenneth (22 November 2016). "Old State House To Reopen Monday". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  35. ^ "Tourist in My Own State: Connecticut's Old State House". The Front Door Project. 21 September 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  36. ^ George Washington (Providence portrait), from SIRIS.
  37. ^ "The Rhode Island State House: A Guided Tour" (PDF). State of Rhode Island. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  38. ^ George Champlin Mason, Reminiscences of Newport (Newport, RI: Charles E. Hammett, Jr., 1884), pp. 290-91.
  39. ^ George Washington (Newport portrait), from SIRIS.
  40. ^ James L. Yarnell, "The Full-Length Portrait of George Washington in the Newport Colony House," Newport History: Journal of the Newport Historical Society, nos. 72-73 (Fall 2003–Spring 2004), pp. 150-59.
  41. ^ Colony House, from Newport Historical Society.
  42. ^ George Washington to the Commissioners for the District of Columbia, 5 September 1793, note 1, from National Archives.[4]
  43. ^ George Washington - Design for an Engraving, (c. 1860) by Alonzo Chappel, from Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  44. ^ John Caldwell, Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque, Dale T. Johnson (1994). American Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 1. Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 239. Retrieved 31 March 2018. clearly based on the Stuart Lansdowne portraitCS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  45. ^ "Exhibit and Reinstallation of Washington Portrait This April". North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. March 24, 2017.
  46. ^ "Art and Artifacts George Washington's Journey to the Rayburn Room". History, Art, & Archives. US House of Representatives. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  47. ^ "George Washington". Maryland Historical Society. Maryland Historical Society. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  48. ^ "Art Collection: Painting". The Providence Athenaeum. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2018. George Washington, circa 1830s. Anonymous, after Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828). Oil on canvas. Gift of The Honorable Samuel Larned, 1838.
  49. ^ A Catalogue of the Collection of American Paintings in The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Volume 1 (The Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1966), p. 81.
  50. ^ George Washington (Greenbrier), from SIRIS.
  51. ^ George Washington: Lansdowne Type (The Kuhl-Harrison Portrait), from Anderson Galleries Inc., New York, 1936.
  52. ^ George Washington (Redwood Library), from SIRIS.
  53. ^ Copy of Lansdowne Portrait, from Birmingham Museum of Art.
  54. ^ "Art and Artifacts". History, Art, and Archives. U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  55. ^ Lionel Cust, "Stuart's Portrait of Washington," The Anglo-Saxon Review, vol. 1, no. 1 (June 1899), (London and New York, John Lane), p. 85.[5]
  56. ^ George Washington (Munro-Lenox type), from National Portrait Gallery.

External links

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